Jan 6, 2009 Weaknesses of Evolution: Fossil Record Data Does NOT Support Darwin



In This Issue
Science - Conflicts Between Darwin and the History of Life
Citizen Involvement - How YOU can help!
"A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts on both sides of each question..." - Charles Darwin in Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life
(Please encourage the SBOE to retain and strengthen the twenty year "strengths and weaknesses" language by signing our petition to them here.  We think even Charles Darwin would do so.)

Today's installment of our series on well-known scientific weaknesses of neo-Darwinian evolution deals with the fossil record.  Does it or does it not support the claims and predictions of Darwinists? 

Separately, our petition to the SBOE for the retention of time-tested "strengths and weaknesses" language in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) continues to grow.  For you or a friend or family member to sign up, please visit:

Please help spread the word!



SCIENCE:  Data vs. Darwinism
Conflicts Between Darwin and the History of Life
Guest editorial by Art Battson

All scientific theories must make predictions. 
What does Darwinian theory predict?

Would you be surprised if I told you that it predicts a pervasive pattern of natural history exactly opposite to the scientific data revealed in the fossil record? 
Let's see what the evidence reveals by first describing Darwinian theory and then reading what Darwin had to say about his theory in the Introduction to his Origin of Species. 
Neo-Darwinian theory is composed of two primary mechanisms: natural selection and random variations - popularly known as the survival of the fittest and the arrival of the fittest. Natural selection cannot select anything that doesn't already exist so the arrival of the fittest must be accounted for by completely random events: pure chance. 
Natural Selection comes in three flavors:


One predicts that closely related species will become different, one predicts that not-so-closely related species will become more alike, while the third predicts that natural selection will tend to inhibit evolutionary change.
An analogy might be helpful. Assume that we are driving behind a General Motors automobile (which is currently being selected against, but that's not the point). Assume now that you ask me to predict which way the automobile will turn at the next intersection and I tell you that it will either turn left into Convergence Court, turn right onto Divergence Drive, or go straight ahead on Stabilizing Street. What would you tell me about my prediction? You might tell me that my theory is absolutely worthless and that it has no predictive value at all. You would be absolutely correct; it has exactly the same predictive value as Darwin's mechanism of natural selection in an environment that was as randomly generated as random mutation.

But what about the pervasive pattern we find in the fossil record? Didn't Darwin predict that in his theory?

No. In fact, he explained it away. The fossil record - as he himself admitted - was the most serious objection to his theory. But rather than modify his theory, Darwin chose to make excuses for the data. Note: This is usually frowned upon in the scientific community. Theories ought to explain the data, not rationalize it away.

Given a bacterium, would any scientist have predicted the disparity of life that suddenly appeared in the Cambrian Explosion - arguably the most important and revolutionary event in the history of life. While scientists could never have predicted the origin of the vast majority of phyla that still exist today, Darwin's theory predicts that we would be able to see a pervasive pattern of natural history, systematically building itself into a single tree of life from the bottom up. Given one species (which given the irreducible complexity of even the simplest life form is quite something to grant,) Darwin predicted that given sufficient time and random variations, two species will eventually be formed. So far so good. Two species and one genus. As more and more species evolve, they might form different clusters of genera that scientists call families. As still more species evolve, clusters of families will form into different orders. As even more time passes and even more species are formed, their differences become so pronounced that biologists - had they been around to observe evolution - would have had to define a higher category of classification: classes. Continuing the process, new phyla (the basic body plans of animals) would ultimately be formed.
There you have it: the most important prediction of Neo-Darwinian Theory. Evolution should proceed on a gradual step-by-step basis from the bottom up: species to genera to families to orders to classes and finally to new phyla. The diversity of species should precede the disparity (i.e. the major differences) of the phyla.
The good news is that Darwinian Theory does predict something. The bad news is that it predicts a pattern directly opposite to the pervasive patterns found in natural history. The fossil record shows disparity of phyla actually precedes the diversity of species.
Is it any wonder that Darwin, after reading his Origin of Species wrote in the Introduction to his Origin of Species:
"I am well aware that there is scarcely a single point discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result could be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts on both sides of each question, and this cannot possibly be done here."



Note that Darwin's Theory explains the data we don't have (small empty circles in the figure above below the dashed line). A Theory of Conservation would explain the data we do (dashed vertical lines).  The real data represents the natural phenomenon of stasis and what the late arch-evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard called "the ordinary rules of stability."
If science is about teaching students about nature's ordinary rules, why aren't they taught about nature's "ordinary rules of stability"?  What scientists really need to do is explain what natural processes have prevented any new phylum from appearing since the Cambrian.
More about that in our next exciting episode. How natural selection accounts for nature's "ordinary rules of stability" or  "On The Origin of Stasis by Means of Natural Processes." (See www.veritas-ucsb.org/library/battson/stasis/index.html or link from www.charlesdarwin.org)
Art Battson

[Note:  You may direct comments to:  newsletterfeedback2009@strengthsandweaknesses.org]



Your Assistance Needed on Three Fronts! - We have an urgent need for assistance in three areas. 

First, please take a minute and sign our "Teach Both Strengths AND WEAKNESSES of Evolution Petition
" here.  It will only take 30 seconds and will help counter the Darwinist dogma that, "No one questions evolution."

, please take a few minutes now to write a politely worded letter of support to the State Board of Education encouraging them to keep or even strengthen the "scientific strengths and weaknesses" language that has served Texas well for TWENTY YEARS without a single legal challenge.  You might also point out one or two of your favorite weaknesses of evolution theories--there are so many to choose from!  Email the Board at sboesupport@tea.state.tx.us. Other contact information is located here.

Third, mark January 21, 2009 on your calendar.  This is the day public testimony will be taken before the full State Board of Education in Austin.  It is especially important that you consider testifying if you are a teacher or have Ph.D. credentials.  For more information, see:

Thank You!